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Monsoon rain is a welcome relief to this end of the country from the hot and dusty atmosphere, but for us who work in the hospitals, rain means more admissions and upsurge of certain illnesses such as dengue, leptospirosis and respiratory diseases. Within a few days the blissful monsoon becomes a catastrophe.

The tanks and water reservoirs overflow, creating floods throughout the region excluding the hospital area. Most of the villagers come to the hospital as it seems to be a better place, with free food and bedding. They opt to come to the hospital rather than a tent at the refugee camp. Pregnant women and children are often brought here with the help of military and hospital staff as it is difficult to transport them if the situation worsens.
Respiratory diseases such as asthma, infections and common cold peaks during this season. On top of that, the fake admissions of those who are displaced, give us doctors a tough time.

Northern LogIt’s impossible to discharge any one during this season as they come up with their sad stories.

“Why are they still in the ward? It’s your duty to handle these kind of situations,” the consultants scolds us, the house officers who are responsible for keeping the wards intact.

Damaged roads, floods and no means of transportation are the excuses they come up with and some even fake illnesses or pretended they aren’t getting any better.

“The ward is as noisy as a Sunday market,” one day the consultant said as he knew we always had a soft spot for the displaced and less fortunate people.

During ward rounds we queue up all those who can walk and showed no signs or symptoms of illness, into the corridor since the ward was so crowded that one bed was shared by two or three patients. This way we lessened the turmoil in the overcrowded wards during the clinical rounds with consultants.

We are either stuck in the north or at home (if we are on holiday) as all the railroads, and means of transportation have gone haywire due to floods. Roads vanish when the tanks overflow and flood the whole area. These photos that I publish today were taken when I was travelling to the north.

It looked like a massive pool of water with tree tops and roofs here and there. All vehicles have to stop as there was no sign of a road. After a while help arrived when soldiers stood in the waters, marking way for the civilians. I was inside one of the buses and it was such a horrifying, spine chilling moment for me as I had no swimming skills. It took about five hours to drive across the flooded area as there was a huge traffic jam.

“What if the tide drags the bus away from the road into the river?” My worries continued at the dreadful sight outside the window. With utter distress and anxiety I managed to click some photos when the bus moved slowly through the heavy waters, on the route marked by the soldiers who stood bravely, battling the waves. I didn’t have a good understanding of handling these kinds of situations when I came here. It was near the end of the war, and the problems were much worse than we expected.

Troubled waters (2) Troubled waters (3)